Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged america

318 notes

From The Maddow Blog:

This sign - and commentary - is hanging outside a food pantry in Manhattan’s East Village. Maybe it’s time we did something about the economy.

Food banks all over the country are seeing record demand and having difficulty keeping the shelves stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a few cans to my local food banks this week. And there’s this:

The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.345 million in July, the government said. The number was 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 8.4 percent more than a year earlier.
Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had set records every month since December 2008. Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in July, 4.051 million.

A record 1 in 5 people in the US receive federal assistance to feed themselves once WIC is factored in. The average monthly allotment per household is $283.68. Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks the program is out of control. Here’s what he said in an interview with ABC News:

"Well, look, do you think there are four times as many people that need food stamps today as they did in 2001? This year, they are proposing another 14 percent increase in food stamps without any real reform to understand how it is that it surged so dramatically. We cannot do this. We don’t have the money. If Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t continue to double the food stamp program every three years, they don’t understand how deeply we are impacted by the debt. The debt is already pulling down economic growth, costing jobs. We need people working with jobs, not receiving food stamps."

The past year was an excellent one for Sen. Sessions. His net worth increased 124% in 2010 - raising him from millionaire to multimillionaire - which is likely why he said it was "rather pathetic" to expect multimillionaires to shoulder a little more of the burden. Meanwhile, in his state of Alabama, 36% of people receive food stamps and the unemployment rate is 9.8%. 
Yes, we need to have people with jobs - though Sessions voted against the jobs bill - and I have a hint as to the why this “surge” occurred: We have a government, specifically Congress, that cares more for dick waving contests and petty infighting than giving a damn that the food stamp usage rate has dramatically risen. American families are going hungry while Congress collectively twiddles their thumbs or butts heads over to what degree the richest 1% deserve to be subsidized.
American exceptionalism? How about being the most unequal industrialized country? How’s that for number one? This is unsustainable and unconscionable. Period. 

From The Maddow Blog:

This sign - and commentary - is hanging outside a food pantry in Manhattan’s East Village. Maybe it’s time we did something about the economy.

Food banks all over the country are seeing record demand and having difficulty keeping the shelves stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a few cans to my local food banks this week. And there’s this:

The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.345 million in July, the government said. The number was 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 8.4 percent more than a year earlier.

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had set records every month since December 2008. Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in July, 4.051 million.

A record 1 in 5 people in the US receive federal assistance to feed themselves once WIC is factored in. The average monthly allotment per household is $283.68. Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks the program is out of control. Here’s what he said in an interview with ABC News:

"Well, look, do you think there are four times as many people that need food stamps today as they did in 2001? This year, they are proposing another 14 percent increase in food stamps without any real reform to understand how it is that it surged so dramatically. We cannot do this. We don’t have the money. If Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t continue to double the food stamp program every three years, they don’t understand how deeply we are impacted by the debt. The debt is already pulling down economic growth, costing jobs. We need people working with jobs, not receiving food stamps."

The past year was an excellent one for Sen. Sessions. His net worth increased 124% in 2010 - raising him from millionaire to multimillionaire - which is likely why he said it was "rather pathetic" to expect multimillionaires to shoulder a little more of the burden. Meanwhile, in his state of Alabama, 36% of people receive food stamps and the unemployment rate is 9.8%

Yes, we need to have people with jobs - though Sessions voted against the jobs bill - and I have a hint as to the why this “surge” occurred: We have a government, specifically Congress, that cares more for dick waving contests and petty infighting than giving a damn that the food stamp usage rate has dramatically risen. American families are going hungry while Congress collectively twiddles their thumbs or butts heads over to what degree the richest 1% deserve to be subsidized.

American exceptionalism? How about being the most unequal industrialized country? How’s that for number one? This is unsustainable and unconscionable. Period. 

Filed under Food stamps hunger politics Jeff Sessions Congress Alabama SNAP Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program 1% Food banls hunger America US government GOP Republican republicans American exceptionalism poverty unemployment crisis economy

71 notes

Right-Wing Islamophobe explains why Islam is NOT Protected Under the US Constitution

And the winner of the “Worst Constitutional Argument of the Week” Award is… KEVIN A. LEHMANN for his argument that Muslims in America have no First Amendment rights. And yes, he cites European multiculturalism and professional hatemonger Geert Wilders. Lehmann might as well cite Anders Behring Brevik’s manifesto. I wish I were joking.

An excerpt:

America faces a grave threat from Islam. Muslims are infiltrating our country in droves and they’re doing it under the guise of “Constitutional Protection.” And like England, if we don’t stand our ground now, it will be too late. Muslims are cunning, crafty and clever. They’re using our ignorance of the understanding of our own Constitution against us, and they are clandestinely and methodically spreading their tentacles in a quiet and unassuming manner.

Federal, state, and local governments on the other hand won’t acknowledge the imminent threat. They incorrectly claim that Muslims have “Constitutional Rights” to come here, proselytize people, build mosques, and implement shariah in their communities and in the public square. They’re dead wrong! And by and large, Islam is getting away with it just like they have in Europe. Only unlike Europe, and in Great Britain in particular, it’s not too late to stem the tide, but we have to act now. Time is not on our side. In fact, this may come as a shock, but there are more mosques being built on American soil than Christian churches. We are already well under way to being Islamized.

To understand Islam is to understand sharia. The religion of Islam is nothing short of a totalitarian political, economic, military, social and legal system that’s camouflaged in religious garb. Their mandate (not objective) is to incorporate our country into a global Islamic caliphate.

Sadly, they are making serious inroads towards their tyrannical mandate because America is not resisting. We are all that stands between freedom and a worldwide Islamic caliphate. The United States of America is the world’s last bastion of hope.

And that’s not the worst of it. The rest of the article is quite similar to the Know-Nothing Party’s platform. This Islamophobia is not unique in that it was Jews, Catholics, Jesuits, Masons, etc. at various points in history.

In fact, in the excerpt, replace references to Muslims with Catholics. Congratulations - you’ve successfully joined the Know-Nothings!

Abraham Lincoln wrote:

"I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].” - Letter to Joshua F. Speed August 24, 1855

Don’t believe me? Check out their party platform.

Filed under Islamophobia Know Nothing Party politics just plain wrong unconstitutional First Amendment First Amendment says what? Muslims Islam America

52 notes

Poll: 62 percent say debt ceiling deal benefits the rich and hurts the poor

Sixty-two percent of Americans think the bill that raises the federal’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and makes major cuts in government spending benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday.

Only 27 percent say that the debt ceiling deal treats all classes fairly and 11 percent have no opinion.

The poll (PDF) also found that 47 percent of Americans rate the economy “pretty badly” and 28 percent rate it “very badly.” Only 23 percent think the economy is going “fairly well” and a meager 1 percent say it is going “very well.”

In other words, 62 percent of Americans are starting to realize something in the milk ain’t clean.

Filed under debt debt ceiling deal economy politics America Rich tax the rich

112 notes

This is America.
Update:
mohandasgandhi said: This was shown to be inaccurate. According to the NY Times, Paul Allen was up for LIFE in prison and Roy Brown pretended he had a gun, thus the higher sentence.
Ultimately, federal prosecutors sought 6 years versus a life term for Allen. The New York Times article cited on Reddit doesn’t even mention Allen as being up for a life term. That was the mastermind of the scheme, Lee Farkas. Here’s Allen’s plea agreement.
Roy Brown exhibited remorse and gave back what he stole. The feds have been unable to locate most of the assets stolen by Allen and his co-conspirators.
Did Brown commit a crime? Yes. But why is a man who steals $3 billion somehow worthier of a lesser sentence? Where was the greater harm?
Here’s why Roy Brown says he committed his crime:

A man who said he robbed a downtown Shreveport bank because he was out of a job and hungry has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree robbery.

Here’s what the US Justice Department said about Allen:

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an e-mailed statement, “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that corporate fraud by senior executives will not be tolerated.” Sean Ragland, 37, a former senior financial analyst at Taylor Bean who also pleaded guilty to the fraud, was sentenced today to three months in prison.

I do get your point. But I feel Paul Allen and his ilk caused much greater harm than Roy Brown ever will.

Some men rob you with a six-gun, others rob you with a fountain pen. - Woody Guthrie

This is America.

Update:

mohandasgandhi said: This was shown to be inaccurate. According to the NY Times, Paul Allen was up for LIFE in prison and Roy Brown pretended he had a gun, thus the higher sentence.

Ultimately, federal prosecutors sought 6 years versus a life term for Allen. The New York Times article cited on Reddit doesn’t even mention Allen as being up for a life term. That was the mastermind of the scheme, Lee Farkas. Here’s Allen’s plea agreement.

Roy Brown exhibited remorse and gave back what he stole. The feds have been unable to locate most of the assets stolen by Allen and his co-conspirators.

Did Brown commit a crime? Yes. But why is a man who steals $3 billion somehow worthier of a lesser sentence? Where was the greater harm?

Here’s why Roy Brown says he committed his crime:

A man who said he robbed a downtown Shreveport bank because he was out of a job and hungry has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree robbery.

Here’s what the US Justice Department said about Allen:

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an e-mailed statement, “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that corporate fraud by senior executives will not be tolerated.” Sean Ragland, 37, a former senior financial analyst at Taylor Bean who also pleaded guilty to the fraud, was sentenced today to three months in prison.

I do get your point. But I feel Paul Allen and his ilk caused much greater harm than Roy Brown ever will.

Some men rob you with a six-gun, others rob you with a fountain pen. - Woody Guthrie

Filed under inequality Injustice america politics crime criminal injustice system white collar justice white collar crime exploitation

50 notes

So what happens if the US defaults?

What if we try to ignore raising the debt ceiling? Well, those proposing this are arguing that we simply prioritize spending. If we enact this plan, the first thing covered would be servicing our debt’s interest, plus paying bondholders. Then we pay Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military payroll. This will halt most federal spending.

Many economists have pointed out this would have drastic consequences, and the US Treasury said in a statement that this would be seen as a default anyhow.

But let’s go to Tea Party fantasy land, where it’s not. Megan McArdle, senior editor at The Atlantic, takes a look at what this will mean for the country:

Let’s say that we refuse to raise the ceiling. Does the prioritization mean that we don’t need to cut politically untouchable programs? No. Let’s think through what would happen if we tried to use this plan:

  • You just cut the IRS and all the accountants at Treasury, which means that the actual revenue you have to spend is $0.
  • The nation’s nuclear arsenal is no longer being watched or maintained
  • The doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.
  • The border control stations are entirely unmanned, so anyone who can buy a plane ticket, or stroll across the Mexican border, is entering the country. All the illegal immigrants currently in detention are released, since we don’t have the money to put them on a plane, and we cannot actually simply leave them in a cell without electricity, sanitation, or food to see what happens.
  • All of our troops stationed abroad quickly run out of electricity or fuel. Many of them are sitting in a desert with billions worth of equipment, and no way to get themselves or their equipment back to the US.
  • Our embassies are no longer operating, which will make things difficult for foreign travelers
  • No federal emergency assistance, or help fighting things like wildfires or floods. Sorry, tornado people! Sorry, wildfire victims! Try to live in the northeast next time!
  • Housing projects shut down, and Section 8 vouchers are not paid. Families hit the streets.
  • The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, making it unclear who’s going to be teaching your kids without a special property tax assessment.
  • The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. Hope your kid wasn’t going to college this year!
  • The mortgage market evaporates. Hope you didn’t need to buy or sell a house!
  • The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don’t have a government backstop for their funds, which has all sorts of interesting implications for your bank account.
  • The TSA shuts down. Yay! But don’t worry about terrorist attacks, you TSA-lovers, because air traffic control shut down too. Hope you don’t have a vacation planned in August, much less any work travel.
  • Unemployment money is no longer going to the states, which means that pretty soon, it won’t be going to the unemployed people.

These are just the very immediate, very theatrical outcomes. Obviously, over any longer term, you’d have issues from bankrupt vendors stopping work funded with federal highway money, forgone maintenance on things like levees and government buildings, and so forth. Averting any of these things would require at least small cuts in Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid spending, or military payrolls.

Even though these seem theatrical, it could happen. This is the kind of fire the Tea Party is playing with - do we really want to test these possibilities?

Filed under default US politics America debt Tea Party tea party caucus debt ceiling

34 notes

The irony of the situation at the moment, with markets opening tomorrow morning, is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American congress rather than the euro zone.
Britain’s Business Secretary Vince Cable, discussing America’s debt stand off on BBC Television.

(Source: Yahoo!)

Filed under BBC Britain Vince Cable debt ceiling default economic collapse economy financial crisis fiscal crisis politics conservative conservatives america right wing

9,402 notes

Norway’s Prime Minister is a liberal atheist, they have one of the best economies in the world, they have universal health care, and subsidized education, it has had the highest Human Development Index 7 years in a row, and it’s never started a pointless war, given tax breaks to the richest, and created Jersey Shore — yet it’s America that knows best.
Matthew Trevithick, responding to this story, “Former Bush Official Places Blame For Oslo Attack On Norwegians For Not Being ‘Serious’ About Terrorism,” with a comment that wins the universe.

Filed under Norway politics terrorism truth America Republican republicans yes

105 notes

I took a screen shot of this because I want to show I did not edit this submission in the least. 
Here is the post referenced by the submitter.
I wish I could be certain this is the only person out there who holds such abhorrent beliefs, but I’m not that naive. 
I just really don’t know what to say to this. Its logical leaps and paranoia are astounding. It’s like every fear of the far right in America was put into a blender, whipped to a frothy frenzy, and poured out into my submission box.

I took a screen shot of this because I want to show I did not edit this submission in the least. 

Here is the post referenced by the submitter.

I wish I could be certain this is the only person out there who holds such abhorrent beliefs, but I’m not that naive. 

I just really don’t know what to say to this. Its logical leaps and paranoia are astounding. It’s like every fear of the far right in America was put into a blender, whipped to a frothy frenzy, and poured out into my submission box.

Filed under Norway terrorism apologist oslo Right Wing Extremism right wing right wing terrorism I can't submission politics conservative conservatives Anders Behring Breivik did that just happen? US america

118 notes


Let me begin by making something perfectly clear: From 2002-2009, Republicans in the House and Senate voted to raise the United States debt ceiling 7 times under George W. Bush, a Republican president. They raised the debt ceiling with no worries, no concern, no filibusters, no problems, no mentions of “children and grandchildren,” or any of this right-wing rhetoric we seem to hear spewed every day from the Republicans here in the year 2011.
Republicans raised the debt ceiling in the middle of 2 wars which were costing the government about $400 billion a week. Republicans raised the debt ceiling after Medicare Part D was passed by Bush, which he had no means of paying for. Republicans raised the debt ceiling after the Bush tax cuts had been signed into law, which ended up costing our government around $2.5 trillion over the course of ten years.
When it came time to pay the bills, they did it. Fast forward to 2011. The president of the United States is a Democrat named Barack Obama. The debt ceiling once again needs to be raised, and congress has the obligation to do so. As a matter of fact, if they refuse to do so, the world’s top economists warn that it would send the American economy back into recession possibly worse than what middle-class working families are feeling right now.
So do Republicans do what they’ve always done for years? … Of course not. They decide that since our president is black and belongs to the other party, that debt is suddenly a problem. And not only is debt a problem, it’s a huge problem. Huge enough that unless some drastic spending cuts are made, and we get our financial books in order, they aren’t going to raise the debt limit.
Okay fine… maybe we are spending too much. We spend $4 billion a year subsidizing big oil companies that are turning record profits, we spend roughly $1.415 trillion on defense every year, and tax rates on the top 2% of income earners are at their lowest levels since the 1950’s. Oh what’s that? None of that is on the table? Those are non-negotiable? Well then what do the Republicans want?
They want middle-class and poor Americans to give up more of their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to pay for massive tax breaks and corporate welfare. And if the Republicans don’t get their way, they’re willing to force an economic crisis that would hurt everyone. They hope to gain politically by this harming President Obama. They can’t lose. All they have to do is refuse to back down on these massive cuts, and Democrats will have to cave in. Americans are largely uninformed, and when things go wrong, they aren’t going to look to congress, they’ll look to the president.
The Democratic party and the mainstream media have let the Republicans get away with this madness. They fail to point out everything in this article, and Republicans come off as serious about our debt. These discussions over raising the debt ceiling shouldn’t even take place. It’s not something that should be discussed. It’s compulsory. Republicans know this. They’re simply playing political games with your economic future, and that my friend, is disgusting.

All of this ^^ 

Let me begin by making something perfectly clear: From 2002-2009, Republicans in the House and Senate voted to raise the United States debt ceiling 7 times under George W. Bush, a Republican president. They raised the debt ceiling with no worries, no concern, no filibusters, no problems, no mentions of “children and grandchildren,” or any of this right-wing rhetoric we seem to hear spewed every day from the Republicans here in the year 2011.

Republicans raised the debt ceiling in the middle of 2 wars which were costing the government about $400 billion a week. Republicans raised the debt ceiling after Medicare Part D was passed by Bush, which he had no means of paying for. Republicans raised the debt ceiling after the Bush tax cuts had been signed into law, which ended up costing our government around $2.5 trillion over the course of ten years.

When it came time to pay the bills, they did it. Fast forward to 2011. The president of the United States is a Democrat named Barack Obama. The debt ceiling once again needs to be raised, and congress has the obligation to do so. As a matter of fact, if they refuse to do so, the world’s top economists warn that it would send the American economy back into recession possibly worse than what middle-class working families are feeling right now.

So do Republicans do what they’ve always done for years? … Of course not. They decide that since our president is black and belongs to the other party, that debt is suddenly a problem. And not only is debt a problem, it’s a huge problem. Huge enough that unless some drastic spending cuts are made, and we get our financial books in order, they aren’t going to raise the debt limit.

Okay fine… maybe we are spending too much. We spend $4 billion a year subsidizing big oil companies that are turning record profits, we spend roughly $1.415 trillion on defense every year, and tax rates on the top 2% of income earners are at their lowest levels since the 1950’s. Oh what’s that? None of that is on the table? Those are non-negotiable? Well then what do the Republicans want?

They want middle-class and poor Americans to give up more of their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to pay for massive tax breaks and corporate welfare. And if the Republicans don’t get their way, they’re willing to force an economic crisis that would hurt everyone. They hope to gain politically by this harming President Obama. They can’t lose. All they have to do is refuse to back down on these massive cuts, and Democrats will have to cave in. Americans are largely uninformed, and when things go wrong, they aren’t going to look to congress, they’ll look to the president.

The Democratic party and the mainstream media have let the Republicans get away with this madness. They fail to point out everything in this article, and Republicans come off as serious about our debt. These discussions over raising the debt ceiling shouldn’t even take place. It’s not something that should be discussed. It’s compulsory. Republicans know this. They’re simply playing political games with your economic future, and that my friend, is disgusting.

All of this ^^ 

Filed under debt ceiling politics republican republicans budget government government spending fuckery inequality debt democrats america